Warriors International + AACM – Celebrating 50 years of GREAT BLACK MUSIC & Chicago’s Avante Garde


This Saturday, November 14th, as part of the London Jazz Festival, Warriors International celebrate 50 years of the the AACM with their ‘London – Chicago Vibration’ featuring Orphy Robinson’s SPonTANeoUS CoSMic RawXtra ensemble.

Having been a devotee of the music produced by the various members of the AACM since the early Seventies I’ve got a few records on the shelf by composers and players like Muhal Richard Abrams, Philip Cohran, Steve McCall, Henry Threadgill, Anthony Braxton, Art Ensemble of Chicago, Kalaparusha, Kahil El’Zabar, Wadada Leo Smith, Amina Claudine Myers, Leroy Jenkins and Chico Freeman amongst others. It therefore is a joy to see an all star alliance of players take to the stage at Rich Mix in Shoreditch to offer their own homage to a generation of relentlessly innovative, militant and enlightening educators that emerged out the Windy City to take the world by storm.

aacm Lewis_chp10_07

if you haven’t heard of the the AACM here’s some classic photos along with some words from their own website:

“Internationally renowned for unparalleled contributions to modern music, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, Inc. (AACM) has been an inspirational leader within the cultural community since 1965. A non-profit organization chartered by the State of Illinois , the AACM is a collective of musicians and composers dedicated to nurturing, performing, and recording serious, original music. This collective of dynamic and visionary artists formed the AACM to meet their emergent needs to expose and showcase their original compositions and to create an outlet for the development and performance of their music.

Art Ensemble Of Chicago - Roscoe Mitchell, Malachi Favors, Famadou Don Moye

Art Ensemble Of Chicago – Famoudou Don Moye, Roscoe Mitchell, Lester Bowie Malachi Favors,

Since its inception, one mission of the AACM has been to provide an atmosphere conducive to the development of its member artists and to continue the AACM legacy of providing leadership and vision for the development of creative music. The AACM first coined the phrase Great Black Music to describe its unique direction in music. The AACM pays homage to the diverse styles of expression within the body of Black Music in the USA, Africa and throughout the world. This experience extends from the ancient musics of Africa to the music of the future.

The AACM may best be known for its leading-edge public concerts featuring some of the most accomplished, versatile and innovative musicians performing original creative music. The organization takes particular pride in developing new generations of talent through the free music training program conducted by members for city youth, the AACM School of Music. Another equally important aspect of AACM ‘s mission is the high moral standard members seek to provide in their capacities as performers, artists, teachers and role models.

Muhal Richard abrams

Muhal Richard abrams

The AACM has continuously achieved international recognition for its contributions in modern music. AACM groups have performed in Moscow, Japan, Europe, Africa, and the USA. Members are regularly awarded grants and commissions to compose music for solo instrument, small ensemble and full orchestra. In 1990, AACM co-founder Muhal Richard Abrams was the recipient of the prestigious Jazzpar Award in Denmark to compose for the Danish Orchestra. AACM member Lester Bowie composed and performed the theme music for The Cosby Show seen on network television. In 1990 the City of Chicago saw fit to honor the AACM by dedicating an evening at the 1990 Chicago Jazz Festival to the music an members of the organization. AACM members Anthony Braxton and George Lewis were awarded Genius Grants from the MacArthur Foundation. AACM flutist Nicole Mitchell was recently awarded the prestigious Doris Duke Artists award.

With the aid of the MacArthur Foundation and Columbia College in Chicago, the AACM produced its 1990 25th Anniversary Festival, a three day celebration of music and lectures featuring musicians in various formats, from solo performance, to a 27 piece orchestra, to a presentation by the AACM School of Music Choir, made up of children from the school. Held at the Getz Theater of Columbia College, the festival was a popular and critical success, playing to standing room audiences each night. In addition to a celebration, the festival was acknowledging the dedication, perseverance, and artistry of its members. Subsequent have been produced annually with the golden 50th Anniversary in 2015. The AACM is now the oldest and most venerable organization of it s kind.”

In Session!

In Session!

Long may the AACM continue to thrive!

THE SPonTANeoUS CoSMic RAwXtra to play specially commissioned arrangements from Orphy Robinson, with visuals by SDNA, that will breathe a distinctively London energy into the AACM legacy.

The show is at 2pm.- 4pm…early doors! the essence of the performance focusses on the art of improvisation and it will feature: Orphy Robinson (MD & vibes), Nikki Yeoh (piano), Rowland sutherland (flutes), Phillip Achille (harmonica), Byron Wallen (trumpet), Jason Yarde (sax), Nubya Garcia (sax), Jerome Harper (trombone), Andy Grappy (tuba), Corey Mwamba (vibes), Doug Boyle (guitar), John Edwards (bass), spoken word/vocal artists – HKB Finn, Cleveland Watkiss, Lisa Lore (NuBluz Aesthete) and the great South African drummer Louis Moholo-Moholom.

To celebrate this legacy, there wiii also be a Workshop / 11am – 1pm / £20 (includes ticket to concert) / Upstairs This is an opportunity for adult vocalists, wind and brass players to workshop material with Orphy Robinson, renowned vibraphonist and multi-instrumentalist, composer and music educator – then join the mighty SPonTANeoUS CosMic RAwkXtRA to perform their new work in the afternoon’s concert. If you’re interested in learning more about free jazz, improvisation, and conduction techniques, this is for you. For adults (18+) who can play to ABRSM Grade 5 standard: wind, brass and vocals only. Please advise box-office of your instrument when booking.

BOOK NOW! THIS IS A KILLER ENSEMBLE….. GOT TO BE ONE OF THE BADDEST SESSIONS OF THE FESTIVAL! http://www.richmix.org.uk/whats-on/event/efg-london-jazz-festival-chicago-london-vibration-a-celebration-of-the-aacm-at-50/

AACM graphi  muhal 5 TBL - C-Dv

About Paul Brad

Freelance journalist / Publisher / Editor - Straight No Chaser magazine / Editor - L FM : Broadcasting In A Pandemic - Gilles Peterson (Worldwide FM) / Publisher: From Jazz Funk & Fusion to Acid Jazz: A History Of The UK Jazz Dance Scene by Mark 'Snowboy' Cotgrove / Music Fan: Interplanetary Sounds: Ancient to Future / Cultural Event Consultant & Activist / Nei Jia practitioner
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